RSF - The Off Road Cycling Club

The Adventure Starts Here

Wrong Hill Gromit!


(The ride when I started with 20 and ended up Billy No-Mates!)Wortley Sun 9


A slightly less enthusiastic group than Saturday’s gathering mustered by the Floozy in the Jacuzzi, (The Wortley Hall Fountain!) perhaps suffering from the carousing the night before - I certainly was!


Wortley Sun 8However we set off with a purpose, up the Hall drive, through the village and then plummeted down Finkel Street to join the Trans Pennine Trail to Penistone.  Confounding those who expected to leave the trail at this point we carried on to pass underneath our road up towards Hillside.  After a momentary wobble we found our way off the trail onto the road and up the hillside.  The track soon gave out to a challenging bridleway somewhat washed away in parts, muddy in others but for the most part rideable, if your name is Ian!


At Fullshaw we decided to split, allowing about half the group to head immediately for the “Polka Dot” Cafe at Langsett while the rest explored the bridleway which headed off across the hillside then descended to the Langsett Reservoir first popping out along a lane bordered with daffodils and brunnera in full bloom.

Crossing the Little Don 

Crossing over the bridge over the Little Don River we came to one of the distinctive Peak and Northern Footpath Society signs pointing the way to Cut Gate.  We started our push up the steep bridleway only to encounter the first of several squalls at the very moment we came across a bridleway gently descending to our left.  Should we go on up into the eye of the storm or take this inviting low level bridleway?  To the disappointment of many, we kept low and trundled down to North America - the ruin of a farm used as target practice on the artillery ranges during the Second World War.




Wortley Sun 4

After a group photo we carried on round the reservoir taking shelter from the impending storm in a copse while everyone re-grouped, whereupon Roger stormed into view.  Having failed to put his clock forward he was manically following the route hoping to catch us up. 


Wortley Sun 3So on to the Bank View Cafe (The Polka Dot Cafe” for a welcome lunch and a chat.  The afternoon began in sunshine again (this was true April weather though it was still in fact March!) and we picked our way along quiet lanes on the south side of the Little Don to Underbank reservoir on the edge of Stocksbridge where we found a handy underpass thus avoiding the busy A616 crossing and pulled up steeply to Underbank Hall.  An inviting track to our right led us to Mucky Lane and up to Hunshelf Hall Lane which true to its name seemed “on the shelf” high above the Little Don to our south and the River Don to our north.  From there it was nearly all downhill, through Green Moor, descending to the Industrial Heritage Museum of Worltey Top Forge.  Here I lost my second group as several of us decided a tour of the museum would be interesting.  Unfortunately I gave those returning directly to the Hall instructions to keep climbing until they got to Wortley.  Sadly it was the “Wrong Hill Gromit!” so off they climbed up to Thurgoland and a bit of main road back to Wortley no doubt cursing me as they went!


Wortley Sun 1Our guide Gordon at the museum was a garrulous and amusing guide to the history of iron working in the Don Valley and an hour sped by before I blithely instructed the troops, as before, to turn right and keep on climbing until they reached Wortley!  I meanwhile faffed about and found myself leading from the back yet again.  By the time I had stopped to take a photo of a rainbow and realised that this was indeed the “Wrong Hill” everyone else was lost in the distance.  I hurried on up to Thurgoland, and hurried on along the main road back to Wortley hoping to catch them up.  Arriving as Billy No Mates back at the Hall I tried to convince myself they were all adults and quite capable of asking directions and negotiating the main road and I had no need to be anxious. However Roger and Hilary soon hove into view followed by the remaining members who accepted my apologies with good grace!


Rob Newton


More photos available here on Flickr


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